CHINGFORD-based Shotokan Karate celebrated their 25th anniversary with a unique course last week.

A number of members who have been at the club since its inception in 1985 were joined by more than 300 more recent members for the two-day course, which included a special guest appearance from the chief instructor of Luxembourg.

The club, which started at Waltham Forest College Annex in Chingford, now has branches at Forest School, Larkswood Leisure Centre, The Peter May Sports Centre and Waltham Forest Pool & Track, while there also clubs as far afield as Whitechapel, Enfield, Portsmouth and Tring.

The man responsible for the club’s birth and remarkable growth is Rod Butler, chief instructor for Shotokan Karate England, and he admitted he had been amazed to see such a transformation in the 25 years he has led the club. “It is so good to see something that started so long ago still successful and growing today,” he said. “I am very proud of the instructors, the members and the clubs.”

Members have tasted success at both regional and national level over the years. And, rather fittingly, there were even more celebrations over the same weekend as Wanstead member Deimante Jodokeviciute took home a gold and a silver at the prestigious Shobu Ippon Karate Championships in Guildford.

With over 700 competitors taking part, she won the black belt Kumite (free-fighting) event and claimed silver in the black belt Kata (forms) category.

As part of Shotokan Karate’s ongoing celebrations this year, a free karate class is on offer for anyone interested in taking up the sport. Information about karate classes for children and adults in Chingford and Waltham Forest can be found at